Italian Grand Prix winner Jorge Lorenzo said it was not easy to defeat MotoGP title rival Dani Pedrosa at Mugello, despite ultimately coming home five seconds clear.
Lorenzo led every lap of the race on his Yamaha, but admitted he had been surprised that he could not escape from his rivals in the first half of the race, when Pedrosa's Honda, Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl and Ducati's Nicky Hayden kept him under pressure.
"I knew it was going to be a very difficult race because Dani also had a very good pace," said Lorenzo.
"So I tried to overtake him in the first corner and to open a gap, because I knew they struggle a little bit more with new tyres, but it wasn't like that. They kept following me very closely. I couldn't open the gap for the first 10 laps.
"But then with a little bit of pushing, pushing and pushing and being in the 1m47s, I could open a little gap.
"I tried to keep fighting with the back and open [the gap] a little bit more. Afterwards it was a little bit more easy and I could ride more smoothly."
The victory stretches Lorenzo's points lead to 19 over Pedrosa, with Casey Stoner now 37 points back after his disappointing eighth place in Italy.